What do you do if you’re Joakim Noah? Do you strike while you’re the hottest thing in college basketball and become the No. 1 pick in the NBA?
Or do you stay in Florida with a great chance to win another national title — and risk injury, a second-year jinx or playing second fiddle to the next LeBron James — Greg Oden — in the 2007 draft?
My advice: Stay in school and keep blowing kisses to rival cheerleaders.
Noah doesn’t need the money to placate his family. Both of his parents are loaded. He doesn’t need to leave because of grades. And even after his MVP effort in the tournament, he’s still not a polished player and could use another year in college.
Is there a risk? Sure. Lightning doesn’t always strike twice in college athletics — ask Matt Leinart. But Leinart was much more ready for the NFL than Noah is for the grind of the NBA.
Barry Bonds may be beyond the reach of baseball when it comes to steroid investigations, but baseball fans already have shown that they aren’t bound by grandfather clauses and have the right to voice their opinion of him.
If Barry gets a syringe (sans needle) tossed at him in mildmannered San Diego, that first Eastern road swing should be interesting. Left field will look like the BALCO lab by the fifth inning.
GATORS AND GAMECOCKS
Now that Florida has won the NCAA title, maybe we should set up one more game with two-time NIT champ South Carolina. Remember, the Gamecocks beat the Gators twice during the regular season and gave them all they wanted in the SEC title game.
If only there were a BCS in . . . ha, had you going, didn’t I?
• Nomar Garciaparra is on the disabled list? Next, you’re going to tell me Kris and Anna Benson are getting back together.
OK, never mind.
• Daunte Culpepper is in the clear. Three misdemeanor lewd conduct charges were tossed Tuesday when the court bought his claim that he was just playing dice on the infamous Vikings “Love Boat” party last fall and took no part in the alleged debauchery.
Perhaps the judge understood that since Culpepper now plays for the Dolphins . . . that’s punishment enough.
• In other QB news, the Titans locked Steve McNair out of training camp — he wants to rehab and win his job back — while the Packers continue to coddle and beg Brett Favre to announce his decision on playing by this weekend, even after he was quoted this week saying “What are they going to do, cut me?”
The Packers should cut ties with Favre and pursue McNair.
• I was pulling for Ben Howland Monday night — a good guy and a solid coach — but his lack of adjustments to Florida cost UCLA any shot at rallying.